Tag Archive | writer retreat

REVIEW: Of Murder And Men by Lynn Cahoon

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It has been a question posed by many readers year after year as an author releases a book, “Can a next in series be better than the previous books?” Yes, heavens yes! And, the first two books in the Cat Latimer Mystery series were amazing in their own right. Of Murder and Men went to a different level however. If you have been following Cat, Shauna, Seth, Uncle Pete and the crew then you are going to love this next serving at the Warm Springs Writers Retreat.

Where do I even begin with this one; wow. Shauna has begun dating this gentleman, Kevin, who we know Cat does NOT approve of because he’s rather…well, rude. They are now engaged and surprise, he ends up dead. Shauna becomes the main suspect because, well, read the book. She looks pretty guilty if you ask me. This entire plot weaves through the book but it’s not the only one. No, Lynn didn’t make it that simple.

The death of Cat’s ex-husband, Michael finally makes its huge debut and things get ugly and strange. Was Michael part of the Aspen Hills mob? Was he Dante’s enemy? What does the college have to do with this and why do they want his papers so bad? Why does Cat have a secret compartment in her desk she can’t get in to? Who is sending these Carnations?

We finally get all the answers we have been so desperately looking for; the answers that Lynn has been making us salivate for in the past two books. All of the clues dropped finally make sense, so much so that you might want to go back and reread the first two books again. Oh Lynn, you sneaky lady! No wonder I love reading her books. She’s brilliant.

So, we not only have the mystery of Shauna’s fiancé’s death, Michael’s unsolved death, but we also have all these new retreat guests. Let’s not forget that this book revolves around a writer’s retreat with authors who, in their quirkiness, bring their own mystique to the story. Once again, Cat hasn’t done background checks on these folks and we really don’t know what these people are up to. Oh Cat, why? Are they innocent writers or are they hiding secrets? Honestly, you’ll have to read the book to find out, but it’s so well woven in the story that it will hit you out of the blue and make you wonder why you didn’t see that coming.

Both Cat and Shauna are not who they once were in the first book and I love the direction Lynn is taking them. I love Uncle Pete too! He pops in at just the right occasion to enhance what needs to be added as far as drawing out the emotions and personality from both Cat and Shauna. I also adored the retreat members in the book, especially Shirley. She is a hoot!

Of Murder and Men is so well written with characters that have developed at a great rate in an atmosphere that is so believable that it is for sure my favorite in the series. Get it for yourself as a gift for Christmas and for your friends who love cozy mysteries. No…even better, get they whole series. It needs to be read together in my opinion to get the full effect. Don’t cheat yourself readers. Amazing Lynn. Your best yet.

Buy: Of Murder And Men

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Buy: The Cat Latimer Series

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If you enjoyed this review, leave me a comment below!  I love hearing feedback.  if you love Lynn, tell me what you’ve read of hers. I love to chat about the authors. 

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Lynn Cahoon Guest Post & Peek At Fatality By Firelight

Booth Talks Books would like to welcome Lynn Cahoon as she talks about her life as an author on the road and give us a sneak peek at her upcoming book, “Fatality by Firelight.”

Today was about building relationships and having experiences. Writers needed both.

Cat Latimer opens her next writers retreat with that statement and a trip to the Little Ski Hill that’s just outside of town.

13077010_272183106447485_7170828096244345958_nI totally agree with that statement. We do need both relationships with people who are not fictional (sorry Cat) and experiences that occur outside our writing office. So when Sheryl invited me to break bread with her and her daughter last April, I accepted, even though I knew I’d be worn out from a day of smoozing with readers at the Southern Kentucky Book Fest. I probably wasn’t the best company, but the food energized me for the drive home. And I loved learning more about Kentucky and Sheryl.

And that’s how relationships are built. One interaction at a time.

13051783_272182996447496_5836921062911643962_nIt’s the same with experiences. I never skied downhill. But after my divorce, I took up cross country skiing at Bogus Basin, Idaho’s version on the Little Ski Hill I invented for Aspen Hills and Cat. I loved the quiet that came over me both during the thirty minute drive to the ski hill and then once I’d rented my skis and got my day pass, on the trail. I could hear my breath as I worked my way up the hills and felt the fear of falling as I skied down the trail. I felt alive. A feeling I hadn’t felt for a long time.

My husband downhilled (yes, it’s a verb) as a teenager. He loved the daredevil experience of flying down the mountain with no inhibitions. I’m not sure I’d be able to make it farther than just off the ski lift and would have to be rescued by one of the ski patrol. Which might not be a bad scenario for one of Cat’s guests one of these days, especially if the rescuer was female and the writer rescued was a strong, scared man. I love getting my characters in trouble and seeing how they get themselves out of the situation.

So you know how Fatality by Firelight starts now. A trip to Little Ski Hill for the new group of writers attending Cat and Shauna’s writing retreat.   And a budding romance that shouldn’t be happening. Add in a dark-clad stranger who seems to know Cat already, and you have all the factors for a great mystery. Oh, and a dead body.

How it ends? Well, you’ll just have to read the book to find that out.

A girl can’t give away all her secrets.

Lynn

 

About “Fatality By Firelight”:
Cat Latimer’s Colorado bed-and-breakfast plays host to writers from all over. But murder14732356_362223670776761_6951742995138964623_n is distinctly unwelcome . . .

To kick off a winter writing retreat, Cat and her handyman boyfriend, Seth, escort the aspiring authors to a nearby ski resort, hoping some fresh cold air will wake up their creative muses. But instead of hitting the slopes, they hit the bar—and before long, a tipsy romance novelist named Christina is keeping herself warm with a local ski bum who might have neglected to tell her about his upcoming wedding.

Next thing Cat knows, her uncle, the town sheriff, informs her that the young man’s been found dead in a hot tub—and Christina shows up crying and covered in blood. Now, between a murder mystery, the theft of a rare Hemingway edition, and the arrival of a black-clad stranger in snowy Aspen Hills, Cat’s afraid everything’s going downhill . . .

 

Excerpt:
The world outside still clung to the previous night, the shadows not quite releasing their hold to the breaking light over the mountain ridge outside Aspen Hills, Colorado. With the first rays of morning, the fresh snow glistened and covered the lawn all around 700 Warm Springs.

Cat Latimer, owner of the Warm Springs Writer’s Retreat, housed in the old Victorian, sat at the kitchen table drinking a mix of hot chocolate and coffee. With a dab of freshly whipped cream, Cat thought Shauna’s winter concoction was just about the most perfect drink ever invented. Her friend, Shauna Mary Clodah, had taken over the role of cook, planner, and manager for the writing retreats. Shauna was a petite, pretty, Irish redhead that cooked like an angel. The small group sitting around the table was drinking the “virgin” version of her mixture. Later, the retreat guests would have the option of adding a shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream or Kahlúa to their cups, an invitation to the muse.fatality-by-firelight-lynn-cahoon

Right now, her guests were tucked in their beds, sleeping. Which was where she wanted to be instead of sitting here in the kitchen. But then she took in the smell of coffee and chocolate mixed together and she sighed in delight.

“I can’t believe you’re taking the group up the mountain. I thought this was supposed to be about writing. They aren’t going to get many words written by spending the day skiing.” Uncle Pete had become a regular at the breakfast table, both when the retreat was in session and when it was just Cat and Shauna milling around the empty house. Her uncle was Aspen Hills’ police chief and Cat’s closest relative.

“It’s part of the Colorado experience.” Cat explained, thinking about her own manuscript sitting on her computer waiting for her to make time to write. The phrase making time to write was a joke. She either wrote or didn’t, and today her word-count chart would show a big fat zero, unless she had the mental energy when they returned from skiing. During the first retreat, she’d managed to get a few pages written—before one of her guests wound up dead in his room. This retreat she’d promised herself that she’d focus on her own work, even when they had guests. Shauna was in charge of the day-to-day activities when the retreat was in session. Cat’s job was to be the resident writer and set a good example as a professional writer. A job that sometimes was harder than other days, especially if she got drawn into a Facebook rotating loop of cute kittens or the occasional photos of hot guys—or worse, one simple question that grew into a research project on the entire history of the Salem Witch trials.

Today was about building relationships and having experiences. Writers needed both.

 

About Lynn:
Cahoon

Lynn Cahoon is the author of the NYT and USA Today best-selling Tourist Trap cozy mystery series. Guidebook to Murder, book 1 of the series won the Reader’s Crown for Mystery Fiction in 2015. She’s also pens the recently released, Cat Latimer series. A STORY TO KILL, book 1, came out in mass market paperback September 2016.She lives in a small town like the ones she loves to write about with her husband and two fur babies. Sign up for her newsletter at www.lynncahoon.com

 

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